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Author: hortoris

Oenothera biennis Our Evening Primrose

Oenothera biennis Our Evening Primrose

The Evening Primrose is one of my favourite, limeish yellow, summer, biennial flowers.

Evening Primrose Oenothera glazioviana

Evening Primrose Growing

  • These plants are capable of seeding profusely
  • The large-flowered evening-primrose Oenothera glazioviana is one of 4 common UK species
  • There are another dozen species and many hybrids and crosses.
  • Evening primrose  flower from June to September. and seeds are produced in mid-August
  • There is a fragrant evening-primrose Oenothera stricta.

Evening Primrose Medical Benefits

The plant is common and popular in the USA and its roots are eaten and used for various purposes. Gardeners Path say it can ‘help a number of conditions including eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, and osteoporosis  and oil of Evening primrose can be used  to regulate blood pressure and to keep the immune system functioning’.

Lawn Edge Trimmers

Lawn Edge Trimmers

Hover Mower Tips on Use and Safety

 

mow

Hover Mower Tips

  • Hover mowers are quick and easy to use but they do not leave stripes in your grass.
  • Use hover mowers to keep your grass tidy but consider a cylinder mower for a top quality look to your lawn. It is the roller on a mower that makesdefines the stripes on your lawn
  • The special mowers for long grass are an excellent way of clearing space like a hovering scythe.
  • The electric Hover mowers are fine for small lawns and are far lighter than most other lawnmowers but they are unlikely to collect up the cut grass.
  • When mowing a bank or slope stand at the top, attach a rope if you need too then swing and lower the mower.
  • Mow up and down not across a slope and take extra care on any uneven ground.
  • Handles generally fold so the machine can be hung from a shed or garage wall making them extremely space efficient

For Safeties Sake

Before Using Your Mower

  • Read the instruction book, it may seem obvious but best to be prepared.
  • Fill the petrol tank before you start as pouring petrol into a hot engine can be as dangerous as smoking.
  • Examine the area to be cut for stones, bits of metal, toys or pets.
  • Set the cutting height, not too short!
  • When starting the machine keep it still, perhaps by putting your foot on the hood.
  • Hover mowers do not have wheels so they must be carried onto and off the lawn.Lift with care and buy one that is light enough for you to manage.

While Mowing

  • Wear heavy shoes with a good grip and keep children away from dangerous machinery.
  • Do not carry the mower whilst it is running it will not float from one lawn to the next.
  • Keep the mower flat as it is designed to stop ‘flying stones’ by hovering close to the ground. Do not mow over gravel.
  • Do not try to use your mower as a cultivator some areas may be so overgrown they need a machete.
  • Don’t take risks or walk backwards as you may pull the machine on top of you.
  • Safety regulations require all new electric mowers to have elaborate safety switches that usually require two handed use and a constant grip.

mower

Patio Roses

Patio Roses

June is a wonderful time to appreciate the variety of easy care patio roses that are now available.

Third Year of outstanding Flowering

Facts about Patio Rose

  • Small and miniature versions of the traditional floribunda type of rose are being bred of the smaller gardens, window boxes, patios or decking areas.
  • ‘Peter Beales’ rose grower offers patio climbers, ramblers and a variety of shrub roses for patios
  • Patio roses can thrive in pots, containers or direct in the ground
  • The smaller cousins ‘miniature roses’ grow to a height of between 12 and 18 inches.
  • Patio plants grow up to 30″ tall are generally hardy and repeat well.

 Yorkshire Princess Patio Rose

Care Tips for Patio Roses

  • I have been fortunate but there have been no greenfly or bug infestations of any note. I would be ready with a garlic spray or proprietary insecticide if needs must.
  • Only one out of a dozen plants has suffered fro black spot and as you can see the pots are close together so I must be lucky.
  • I gave my plants a mini prune in early spring after a winter prune to keep the plants short and prevent wind damage

On My Patio with Room for More

Portmanteau Trees New Species

Portmanteau Trees New Species

Elmonkey

If you notice dogs you may have seen a’ cockapoo’ using one of your trees as a loo or a ‘puggle’ leaving a puddle but what is a ‘labradoodle’ to do?  Every week there seems to be a new hybrid dog that is a cross between two or more breeds so I wonder if can this apply to trees.

If breeders could cross a Eucalyptus with a holly the European commission would be happy with a Eucalolly forest or a walnut would make a waolly or hollnut. My favourites would be a Sycayew or the tall but sickly Poplash

Paperbarked Maple

Back to the dogs for a minute, not to say silverbarkbirch or paperbarked maple both a bit wrouff ( or am I doing something up the wrong tree). How about planting a bulldogwood, a pitbull tree of heaven or a maidenhairweiler.

Trees portmanteaued or  crossed with board games would be chessnuts, planeludo or snakebarks and ladders. Mahonijong are related to chinese checkers and monopoly would be a self pollenator. Who let the dogs in there are terrible draughts in here (enough already go have some Chow ed).

Cloche Crop Protection

Cloche Crop Protection

Octagonal cloche

A cloche is used as a protective covering to shield plants, usually vegetables from the undesirable effects of cold, wind, and predator damage.

  • Cloches may be just smaller poly-tunnels used to protect a small number or individual plants.
  • Cloches made from plastic are much lighter than glass making them easier to move around. The advantages of glass is that the temperature within a glass cloche will be slightly warmer, they are less likely to be blown around and look better.
  • A home made cloche can be made from a cut down plastic pop bottle.
  • There are attractive bell shaped cloches available and various shapes like the one above.

How to Use a Cloche

  • Put the cloches in place a month before sowing to help warm the soil.
  • Sow seeds or plant out under the cloche for protection.
  • Cloches can be used in September to protect late crops of Lettuce.
  • Consider ventilation and watering when buying a cloche. The roof of this cloche can be lifted off.
  • I use a cloche to keep mice away from germinating peas and beans.

A Floating Cloche can be made from sheets of polypropylene fleece which are placed over the seed bed – when the seedlings emerge, the polypropylene is light enough to float up as the plants grow. I like this method for Broad beans peas and early potatoes.

A floating cloche is cheap, easy to put in place and protects the seedlings from three or four degrees of frost. Water permeates the fleece.

Poly Tunnels are another alternative.

Poly tunnel’s supporting hoops should be no more than 2½ feet apart. If spaced further apart the plastic sheeting will droop over the crops and may damage them in rainy or snow conditions.
Make sure the height is adequate for the crops you want to protect.

Related

Garden Frost Protection

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle Belgica


Aromatic Honeysuckle

  • These aromatic plants are sometimes called “woodbine.”
  • The flower, seed, and leaves are used for medicine particularly Chinese medicine for which they are grown as a crop.
  • Honeysuckles are from a family of over 150  Lonicera species including,  L. periclymenum (common honeysuckle or woodbine),  L.nitada, invasive  L.japonica &   L.sempervirens.

My Honeysuckle Experiences

  • My memory goes back over 60 years to a great aunt who grew a superbly scented climbing plant in her small backyard in a through terrace house. It must have made an impression alongside french cricket where it had to competed for space in the yard.
  • Later in life I have taken numerous cuttings and bought some named Lonicera to add height in the garden
  • Now I neglect them and leave them to their own devices. They survive but don’t really thrive. I should give them some TLC and grow them nearer to paths where I can relish the scent.

Gardeners Pruning tips

More info on Honeysuckle

Primula Allionii & Denticulata

Primula Allionii & Denticulata

Primula Allionii  Pink Aire

White Denticulata

Denticulata

Primula allionii Broadwell Milk Maid

Notes on these primula plants.

  • I am taken with the formation of the inflorecence or bud formations that have so many similarities in these four plants from two species.
  • There are two pot grown primula allionii plunged in a large bed of gritty sand located in a well aired glasshouse.
  • The two colours of Primula denticulata are growing in my garden and worth a drumroll every spring.
  • The purple plant is yet to open to its fullest extent but the tight buds hint at a brash splash or colour still to come.
  • You get a lot of small individual flowers on each of these Primulas and I think they are exceptional value for the spring show they give to gardeners.
Gardeners Aphorisms

Gardeners Aphorisms

Zonal Pelargonium aka Geranium

ranium is a French verb – Je ranium Tu ranium il / elle ramium

The young sow wild oaks, the old grow sage and the lazy grow weeds.

A gardener is the most optimistic and hopeful person who believes and trusts in the future.   after Susan Hill

Though an old man I am a young gardener.   Thomas Jefferson

You get the most of what you don’t want

Love your garden whether  you like it or not

All gardeners know better than other gardeners

‘My garden will never make me famous
I’m a horticultural ignoramus’ – Ogden Nash

Soil is like a bran tub, you only get out of it what you put in – if you are lucky!

Deter Club Root with This Tip

Deter Club Root with This Tip

Club root is a fungal infection of brassicas that causes distorted, swollen roots and stunted growth. Your cabbage seedlings and Broccoli, Cauliflower, Calabrese Sprouts and Kale can all be prone to club root but especially your cabbages.

Club Root Tip

Start plants off in larger than normal pots say 4-5 inches. This gives plants a good  head start and they can be planted out surrounded by safe uncontaminated compost. Line the planting hole with a rhubarb leaf to improve the effectiveness of this method. That seems counter intuitive when you would lime the soil as a normal safeguard and the rhubarb leaf in acidic in nature but it works.

More on Club Root

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